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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Room

What the hell am I doing here, writing this, what do I think I will be able to accomplish? Is this a journal where I will jot down every thing that bothers me, that crushes me little by little, a great, murky fucking repository of black thoughts and garbage? I don't know what this is. But I guess if you want to know what depression is, what it does to a mind, how it destroys, this will be a pretty telling read. I suppose I hope it will help one person, or a million, realize something about depression they didn't know or see some way around it or just to hope they never see this putrid, hideous beast.

Here is what I did for a lot of the time I was in the velvet void: nothing. I thought of nothing, I created nothing. I sat at the computer and played a game that gave me nothing in exchange for nothing, hoping nobody would notice me there, in the next room, and just pass me by. I did not cry, I did not rage, I did not howl in pain. I just did nothing.

But there was this one little thing, this tiny marble rolling around in the mushy confines: I hated myself. I hated who I was, how I looked, how I failed, how I just plain was. I didn't say that or even really think it. To think about it in those exact words, in those terms, stark and black and white, would have caused me to relive all those failings, to examine my face, my mind in the light of day, out from that tiny, dark, quiet room where I did nothing and where nothing affected me.

And that is what I experienced before the nothing: I walked up and down the hallways of my mind and saw all the mortifying pictures hanging on the wall, every last failure, every last girlfriend leaving, every tiny foible, every picture of pants-wetting, every premature ejaculation, every awful and callous and embarrassing thing I have ever done, all of my shame, there, framed and well lit, while my victories and my good deeds and my excellence lay on the floor, shattered and trampled, dust clinging to my sweaty feet. And it was...beyond painful, it cut at my soul, it burned my eyes, it stabbed my ego. By halfway it knocked me down and I crawled while the broken fragments of my hope pierced my hands and knees, and the lights shifted and illuminated a lower part of the walls, where the truly degrading humiliations were hung, where my Father leaving my Mom hung in its tattered frame, wet with tears, where the first criticisms of my appearance by my Mother stood out brightly in the blackhead-covered frames, and I collapsed some more. Flat on my stomach, pulling myself along with my elbows in a broken military crawl, breathing in the dust and debris of my wasted potential, choking and bleeding and moaning, I reached out blindly, my eyes now caked shut with the blood from the thorn wounds in my head made by the heavy crown I made from the shards of glass that littered this hell, and I felt something, something cool against the broken blisters on my hands.

A door. A simple door made of something soft and cool and quiet, a cool, soft breeze blowing out from its cracks, and from the other side I heard whispers, soothing voices, calling me, offering a salve, a potion, some respite from my tortured crawl, rest for my weariness. It opened as if on its own, beckoning. I dragged myself into the darkness there, pressed my battered face against the cool floor and sighed, a long and rattling sound that came from my soul rather than my lungs.

And I felt...nothing. And I heard nothing. And I thought nothing. And I wanted nothing. The sounds of things that never happened, vague strings played with ghost bows, a velvet and lilting chorus, the white noise of emptiness enveloped my ears. It was beautiful.

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